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I’m Chris Nicoll. I’m not the only one, but I’m the one that’s…me. Now that I’ve cleared that up:

On this site, I take notes, play with information organization, and dabble in web development. I am a tinkerer, always learning something.

I hope that the notes I make at this site will be useful to someone. The act of making them is a valuable exercise in itself.

I have a tendency to play with website themes and templates, from explicit HTML to Drupal to Wordpress to my current favourite site-building software, Hugo. This site will inevitably always be a work in progress.

If you’re wondering why Hugo is my favourite, it has a lot to do with the simplicity of working with plain text files. If I want to restore, edit, or repurpose any blog post, I already have human-readable copies of both the HTML files and the Markdown files they’re generated from. There are no database steps to take. It also has to do with loving to work in a plain text editor. Simplicity means different things from different angles.

For personal notes and random fragments, TiddlyWiki is my no-nonsense capture system. It’s also a web page, but I use it as a local file. It’s trivial to dump information into it, but it also allows infinite possibilities for organizing and structuring content. It’s searchable, and it’s also readable in a text editor, should the unthinkable happen and its JavaScript become corrupt or unsupported (this has never happened to me in over a decade of use and upgrades).

The theme of this site started out as a clone of the very minimal XMin theme by Yihui Xie. XMin gave me a clean starting point from which to add what I want. It quickly became…a bit more complicated. The CSS is hand-coded, and is currently very messy.

The sidebar/header menu template is based on the Learn theme by Mathieu Cornic.